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Advance Care Directive
What is an Advance Care Directive?
An Advance Care Directive (ACD) is a legal document that authorises who you would like as a Substitute Decision Maker (SDM). The appointed SDM makes decisions on your behalf in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. For instance, if you suffer a coma, stroke or any other incident where you become incapable of making your own decisions. Further, the SDM will need to attend to all of your personal and health affairs during this time. A SDM can also make decisions concerning matters such as whether you receive certain medical or dental treatment, accommodation matters and general health care. Overall this document gives the SDM the power to make any decisions that you would normally make in relation to your general health and lifestyle choices. For example:
- Where you should live (nursing home, etc.)
- Dietary requirements
- Health treatments
- Consenting or refusing medical treatment (life support, etc.)
- Religious practices
An ACD is different from an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA). Unlike the EPOA, the ACD does not come into effect unless or until you lose sufficient mental capacity to be unable to make decisions about your own health and welfare. The ACD document is often prepared at the same time as preparing a Will and an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPOA).
An ACD also replaces what was previously called a 'Power of Guardianship'.
It is therefore important to make future health, living and personal arrangements to ensure your wishes are met. Please do not hesitate to contact our office should you have any enquiries with respect to this matter. We offer first free interview at no cost and no obligation.